Welcome to the Founding Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was founded on November 9, 1946 by co-founders Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott. These women leveraged their network and resources to assemble a dynamic team of seven other Links that constituted what was originally referred to as "The Philadelphia Club.”

About The Links, Inc.

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 15,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 42 states, D.C. & the Bahamas. Learn more →

The Founding Chapter

It all began in Philadelphia. Learn more about the founding chapter and the nation’s premiere service and philanthropic organization for African American women.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. Learn more about our five Facet focus.

Scholarships

Learn more about the Margaret Roselle Hawkins Arts and Sarah Strickland Scott Academic Scholarships.

About Us

The Philadelphia Chapter

The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was founded on November 9, 1946 by co-founders Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott. These women leveraged their network and resources to assemble a dynamic team of seven other Links that constituted what was originally referred to as “The Philadelphia Club.”

In less than one year of our chapter’s founding, the Philadelphia Links provided a nearly $10,000 cash gift (close to $100,000 based on the 2014 CPI Inflation Calculator) to the Bureau of Colored Children to assist with tending to the needs of orphaned African American children. Three years later, a nationalization meeting was held in Philadelphia as other African American women’s clubs sought to officially affiliate as Links chapters.

This historical move further solidified The Links as the premiere service and philanthropic organization for African American women. Within a short time frame, scores of Links chapters were chartered throughout the country. Today, The Links, Incorporated consists of 288 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.

The Philadelphia Chapter continues to perpetuate the legacy of service through our programming and philanthropy within the Greater Philadelphia region. We have contributed millions of dollars and tens of thousands of service hours to several organizations in our area since our inception. Among our chapter membership ranks, the Philadelphia Chapter is proud to include business, education, and non-profit leaders that are dedicated to positive community transformation.

The Beginning: Philadelphia

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The Links, Incorporated was founded by two Philadelphia matrons on November 9, 1946.

Photo is not to be used without the expressed written permission of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
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On that evening, Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, two young Philadelphia matrons, invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inter-city club. This organizing meeting of The Links was not a spontaneous action. In 1945, Link Hawkins had conceived the idea of a group of clubs composed of friends along the eastern seaboard and had spent many hours with Link Scott in thinking, planning and discussing the possibilities of such an endeavor.

The two women envisioned an organization that would respond to the needs and aspirations of Black women in ways that existing clubs did not. It was their intent the club would have a threefold aim–civic, educational, and cultural. Based on these aims, the club would implement programs, which its founders hoped would foster cultural appreciation through the arts; develop richer inter-group relations; and help women who participated to understand and accept their social and civic responsibilities.

Besides the two founders, the original members of the Philadelphia Club were Links Frances Atkinson, Katie Green, Marion Minton, Lillian Stanford, Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Lillian Wall, and Dorothy Wright. The club elected Margaret Hawkins as president, Sarah Scott as vice president, Myrtle Manigault Stratton as recording secretary, Frances Atkinson as corresponding secretary, and Dorothy Wright as treasurer.

Original Philadelphia Club Members

Officers

Leah Smith Sheppard
President

Zakiya Black Barnett
Vice President

Sherri L. Kyle
Recording Secretary

Elise Fullwood
Corresponding Secretary

Margaret Wright
Financial Secretary

Denise Wynne-Baker
Assistant Financial Secretary

Julie Coker Graham
Treasurer

MarvaLisa Scott
Assistant Treasurer

Catherine Broach
Parliamentarian

EllynJo Waller
Program Chair

Mahlene Duckett Lee
Immediate Past President

Facet Committee Chairs

THE ARTS
Rosalyn McPherson, Chair
Nicole Allen White, Co-Chair

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Judith Gay, Chair
Renee Allen, Co-Chair

INTERNATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Mariska Bogle, Chair
Allison Green, Co-Chair

NATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Terri Lee Taylor, Chair
Sherri Kyle, Co-Chair

SERVICES TO YOUTH
Evelyn Sample-Oates, Chair
Valerie Robinson, Co-Chair

Standing Committees

ARCHIVES & HISTORY
Patricia Wilson Aden, Chair

AUDIT
Terri Lee Taylor, Chair

CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
Catherine Broach, Chair

ETHICS
Catherine Manning Adams, Chair

CHAPLAIN
Kimberly Spivey, Chaplain

COURTESY
Trumell Lamb, Chair

FINANCE
Julie Coker Graham, Chair

FUND DEVELOPMENT
Jasmin Senior Bostic, Chair

MEMBERSHIP
Zakiya Black Barnett, Chair

NOMINATING
La-Toya Hackney, Chair

PROTOCOL & RITUALS
Gina Golson Nunery, Chair
Faatimah Gamble, Co-Chair

SCHOLARSHIP / HBCU INITIATIVE
Kimberly Spivey, Chair
Sherilynn Johnson Kimble, Co-Chair

SPECIAL EVENTS
(Ad Hoc) – Brenda Johnson Best, Chair

STRATEGIC PLANNING
Stephanie Mays Boyd, Chair

TECHNOLOGY / COMMUNICATIONS & WEB
Nicole Allen White, Chair

VISION 2020
Jasmin Senior Bostic, Chair

Alumnae Members

Barbara Bell Adderley
Willadine Bain
Linnette Black
Toni Brazington
Angela Crockett

Florence Anne Frazier
Velma W. Goode
Alma G. Goodwyn
Joyce Brown Harrison
Annie Ruth Johnson

Lorraine Brown Long
Alicia Perkins
Marcella Hyde Rhoulhac
Dorothy Sumners Rush
Evelyn Smalls

About Us

Who We Are

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The membership consists of nearly 15,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Our Founders

The Links, Incorporated was founded by two Philadelphia matrons on November 9, 1946.

National Officers

Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D.
National President

Ethel Isaacs Williams, Esq.
National Vice President

Crystal L. Kendrick
National Recording Secretary

Ethelyn S. Bowers
National Treasurer

Raynetta Waters
National Nominating Chair

Tyna D. Davis, Ed.D.
National Parliamentarian

What We Do

The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Inc. has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs.

About Us

President's Message

Greetings From the Philadelphia Chapter,

The Philadelphia Chapter is extremely proud to have the distinction of being the founding chapter of the Links, Incorporated. It was the year 1946, when Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, decided to invite seven of their friends to form what would become, the Links Incorporated. Little did these women know that their vision of friends working together for the betterment of their community, would result in the creation of a leading international organization recognized throughout educational, political, social and corporate sectors: tops among premier women’s organizations in the United States.

In 1946, these nine women, although part of the more privileged group of African-Americans in Philadelphia, recognized that many in their community, struggled to make ends meet and to provide for their families. They also recognized the inequities in employment opportunities for people of color; including those with college degrees. They set out to use their influence, not only to directly provide needed services in their community, but also to reach out to others of power in an attempt to effect positive change for African-Americans in Philadelphia.

Currently, nearly seven decades later, the Philadelphia Chapter strives to continue the important work started by our Founders. Although much progress has been made for African-Americans over these years, numerous inequities between majority and minority communities still remain. Through programming, philanthropy, and other initiatives, the Philadelphia Chapter works to address educational, economic and social inequities by hands-on work in the community, partnerships with like-minded corporate citizens, and outreach to those in positions of influence throughout our country who recognize the need for, and